Well pumps can last almost indefinitely when they are properly maintained, and some really do not require maintenance at all. However, if you bought a property with a well pump and that pump is on its way out, you will need to replace it. (There are several connections in a well pump that plumbers need to make, so this is not exactly the kind of DIY project you should attempt on your own.) Here is what to expect when you hire a plumber to come out and replace your well pump.
Disconnecting the Old Pump
First, your pump needs to be disconnected electrically. Your plumber will very carefully shut off the power and disconnect the wires or cables that supply the power to the pump. Then the pump needs to be disconnected from the pipes that run underground. This is no easy task, and if the well opening is large enough, the plumber will descend in wading boots or wetsuit to unhook the pipes. At the same time, the plumber will then wrap chains, winch cable or very sturdy rope around the pump in order to prepare it for its removal from the well.
Removing the Old Pump
With everything properly disconnected, the next step is to lift the pump out of the well. If your plumber wrapped the pump with winch cable or chains, an electric power-winch can haul the pump up safely. If your plumber went "old school" and used rope, he or she intends to pull the pump up using manual labor and a pulley system. Since well pumps are not lightweight objects, other heavy duty equipment or assistants to the plumber will help lift it off the ground and onto the back of the plumber's truck or van. Then the process is reversed so that the new pump is gently lowered into position in the well.
Installing the New Pump
After the new pump has been carefully lowered into the well, the plumber will climb back down into the well to help position the pump so it is not on its side but fairly straight up and down in the water. Next, the pipes that run from the well to your house are reconnected to the pump. If any electrical connections need to be rewired, the plumber will do this step now while he or she is in the well. Finally, electrical wiring and/or cables that run from the well to the electrical box in your house are taken up through the well and hauled across the property into the house. If you previously had buried lines for your old pump, these may be reused or they will be dug up to provide a space for the new wiring/cables. Then everything is covered back up (that should be covered with dirt) and the pump is turned on and tested to make sure it is functioning.
If you think you may need a new well pump or have questions about the process, don't hesitate to contact a plumbing company like County Pump & Supply Co.